Saint Mary’s student senate met Tuesday night to discuss changes to election policies and upcoming events on campus.Student body president Kat Sullivan said the goal for the alteration of election policies “is to establish a better understanding of the policies both for the candidates and the student body as a whole.”Senate members voted to implement changes to election policies, including permitting abroad students to campaign with a present Saint Mary’s student. Sullivan said Feb. 26 is the deadline for all campaign materials. Students can submit materials through an elections portal on OrgSync, she said.“Every candidate that is running will have to sign something saying that they have read these policies and they agree to abide by these terms,” student body vice president Maddy Martin said.Heritage Week at Saint Mary’s will begin Feb. 3, and various events will take place on campus, including a Heritage Week dinner in the Stapleton Lounge, saidCarmen Cardenas, president of the Student Diversity Board.Throughout the week, students will be encouraged to share their heritage, she said.“Any sort of Heritage – you could be the first person ever to attend Saint Mary’s, but you just want to write about how much you love Saint Mary’s,” Cardenas said.Cardenas said students who write admirable stories about their heritage will receive prizes, and the winners will be announced at the heritage dinner.An event titled, “Sugar Makes the World Go ‘Round,” will bring international desserts to the Noble Family Dining Hall on Feb. 6, Cardenas said. Following Heritage Week will be Women’s Appreciation Week, beginning Feb. 24, with the Diverse Student Leadership Conference (DSLC), taking place March 25 to 26.The DSLC will have two keynote speakers: Faisal Alam, a gay, Pakistani-American, and Kevin Powell, Cardenas said.Cardenas said a Saint Mary’s professor’s survey has found that diversity is not a popular conversation topic at the College.“On the worst points, Saint Mary’s students, faculty and staff have shown that there is not enough talk about religious diversity or sexual orientation,” she said.The goal of the conference will be to create dialogue on these subjects among Saint Mary’s students, Cardenas said.Martin said another event to look forward to is “Women Honoring Women,” to take place in April.“‘Women Honoring Women’ is a night where students can nominate a faculty member or someone who’s had an impact on their life at Saint Mary’s,” she said.Martin said students and their nominees are invited to a dinner where a nominee is voted Woman of the Year.
The European Commission is supporting the central Asian country of Tajikistan in the creation and implementation of a notionally defined pension system.The Commission is tendering for support from organisations or individuals in the EU to support the country in drafting secondary legislation and normative acts and develop the organisational, administrative and IT structures required.The mandate will be supported by a grant from the European Commission and initially run for three years, although this may be extended at Tajikistan or the Commission’s discretion.It envisages narrowing down applications from eligible participants to 4-8 candidates that would be required to submit detailed tenders. Invitations to tender are likely to be made by June 2015, with commencement of the support to Tajikistan in November.In other news, Aberystwyth University has selected Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) as its insurance-based defined contribution (DC) provider. Aberystwyth required a group personal pension (GPP) after it closed its defined benefit (DB) Aberystwyth University Pension and Assurance Scheme, moving employees to DC.LGIM will now take over the 729 members of the pension scheme and any new employees ineligible to join the University Superannuation Scheme (USS), the multi-employer offering for academic staff.LGIM will initially hold the contract for 10 years after beating four rival providers to the tender.Finally, the SEI Master Trust has obtained an independent quality assurance after submitting to the framework devised by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).PwC conducted an audit of the DC master trust’s governance and administration before providing the award.The framework was voluntary and devised by TPR and ICAEW to improve quality in trust-based multi-employer DC schemes and help employers select schemes for auto-enrolment.SEI becomes the third master trust to submit to the voluntary framework after The People’s Pension and NOW: Pensions.
Popular Science magazine has named USC assistant professor Andrea Armani one of their “Brilliant Ten,” a title reserved for young scientists dramatically impacting their fields of study. Armani works in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in the Viterbi School of Engineering and leads research that draws from physics, chemistry and biology.“If the Brilliant Ten are the faces of things to come, the world will be a safer, smarter and brighter place,” read Popular Science’s article.Armani earned this title through her research and development of new scientific tools. She works with a group of 20 undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students to conduct her research. One of their projects is to create the components to make an optical computer, a computer that uses photons instead of electrons to keep the system cool, a reality.Armani will be teaming up with Professor Alan Willner of USC’s Information Sciences Institute to help take the system from individual components to a full computer.Not all the projects Armani is involved with, however, are computer related. Popular Science also focused on Armani’s development of specialized sensors such as resonant cavity sensors, which Armani believes might be used to detect small traces of disease. These sensors could be potentially used to study how drugs bind to their targets.Armani has also developed a ultraviolet sensor that can monitor an individual’s sun exposure throughout the day, which could be especially useful to children and those prone to skin cancer. Her sensors could potentially be used to detect radioactivity, biological weapons or waterborne pathogens.“When I was in ninth grade, my parents told me that I had to choose a focus, and now I tell them, ‘See? I was right; I didn’t have to choose. Why choose when you can do it all?’” Armani told Viterbi.Armani studied not just one, but three fields of interest: physics, chemistry and biology. Her expansive knowledge in the three fields allows her to conduct research on a wide variety of topics.“Industrial R&D, if done right, should be very results-focused, aware of the tyranny of time,” Robert Carnes, a former Battelle research director, told Popular Science. “She can out-industry industry.”Follow us on Twitter @dailytrojan
Days after losing her parents, Xia Shuqin and her sister were found standing in the rubble of their house by an American missionary, who was taking a picture of the scene. In the present, the Nanjing Massacre survivor is sharing her experiences with her grandchildren to carry on her family’s history. While creating the documentary, the film team spent several days walking through China with Xia Shuqin and her grandchildren as Shuqin remembered various places from her childhood. Photo from Tribeca Film.The Girl and the Picture follows the life of Xia after the events of the Nanjing Massacre. The documentary, produced by the USC Shoah Foundation, will be shown at Tribeca Film Festival on April 27. “Sometimes it’s hard to understand history without identifying information about people and actual lives,” said Vanessa Roth, the film’s director. “One really powerful way to understand history is to understand [that it] is family history.”The USC Shoah Foundation has maintained an ongoing partnership with the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders with the intention of collecting the survivors’ testimonies, making them interactive and bringing them to a larger audience. One of the foundation’s interviewees was Xia, whose own experiences utilizing activism to raise awareness about the massacre appealed to the foundation. Foundation members conducted a closer examination into Xia’s story.“When we brought her to Los Angeles to interview her as part of our interactive testimony, we became more in touch with her story and her experience and this part of that became also her interest in telling the story to her own family,” said Karen Jungblut, director of research and documentation at the Shoah Foundation. According to Jungblut, this initial interest quickly formed an idea for a full-length documentary. Throughout the documentary’s developmental stages, staff members interested in the project focused on the familial bonds and legacy Xia’s wanted to create by sharing her story. “[Nanjing survivor] Madame Xia has been interviewed about the massacre for many years now by many journalists around the world,” Roth said, “We wanted to make a film that was a personal story.” The film team spent days filming Xia and her grandchildren walking through the places in China she knew as a child and looking through photographs from her past, before and after the massacre. “Family members get answers that are personal,” Roth said. “A young child would ask questions about childhood and bring her back to her own childhood.”Now, with the chance for added exposure through the Tribeca Film Festival, Roth said The Girl and the Picture can spread its lessons to a wider audience.“Tribeca is one of the most important film festivals globally,” said Andi Gitow, the film’s executive producer, who is also the director of strategy, partnerships and media production at the Foundation. “It’s not even just about the screening itself that takes place, but the discussions around the screening, the press coverage, the fact that [it] allows Madame Xia’s message and USC Shoah’s message to get out even more.”The film has been submitted to a number of other festivals, including the Newport Beach Film Festival. There are plans to screen the film in China and distribute it through a theatrical release to spread its message worldwide.“It’s this idea of the legacy across generations,” Gitow said. “It’s a legacy of loss, a legacy of resilience, it’s a legacy of family and it’s a legacy of forgiveness. I think the notion is that everyone has stories to tell and it’s important that people share their stories with their own families.”Meanwhile, the foundation has continued to collect 100 other testimonies to be subtitled in English and integrated into the archive by the end of the year. Jungblut said that by bringing in these interviews, more light will be shed on a fragment of history that has not previously received as much attention.“To really understand the global impact of a World War and a war that really happened on different continents and the impact that this history has … from that perspective, I think it’s important to us to bring these stories into the archive with the Holocaust survivor testimonies and other testimonies from other genocides,” Jungblut said.